Finance Minister Simon Hamilton visited Ballymoney last week and paid a visit to the Council offices and some local businesses.
Mayor of Ballymoney Cllr John Finlay welcomed the Minister to Riada House.
Councillor Finlay said: “My party colleague, Simon Hamilton, has only recently taken over the challenging job of Finance Minister, but it is obvious that he has hit the ground running.
“I am delighted that he has come to visit Ballymoney early on in his ministerial career and it was my privilege to welcome him to the Mayor’s parlour where he met with Winnie Mellett, President of the Ballymoney Chamber of Commerce, and a representative group of local traders to hear their concerns about the pressures on the local business community.
“Ballymoney, in common with most other towns across the Province, continues to suffer from the impact of the economic downturn and everything possible must be done to help our local businesses and to promote inward investment. I know that Mr Hamilton cannot wave a magic wand or provide us with instant solutions, but I am confident that he will do all in his power to help to stimulate economic growth. I urge the Northern Ireland Executive to take all possible measures to help to regenerate the economy of our local towns.
“Meanwhile, as Mayor and a local councillor, I will continue to take every opportunity to promote Ballymoney as a centre for business”.
Minister Hamilton also visited JMF Fabrications and McAuley Engineering. At McAuley Engineering, the Minister was given a short presentation on the company background and future plans before being shown around the 74,000sq ft manufacturing facility
Jonathan McAuley, company MD, said: “I am delighted that the Minister took time out to visit Ballymoney and to show a keen interest in local manufacturing. We had a useful discussion and the Minister showed a good understanding of the issues facing the engineering sector and the way ahead for the future. “